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Friday, February 22, 2019
Hurricane Harvey is causing destruction and flooding in Texas — here’s what...

Hurricane Harvey is causing destruction and flooding in Texas — here’s what it looks like on the ground


Hurricane Harvey made landfall between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor in Texas on Friday night, with wind speeds as high as 130 mph.

The storm continues to move inland, and has been downgraded to a tropical storm. As of 7 a.m. CDT Saturday, it was still packing maximum winds of 80 mph.

Officials anticipate that Harvey will continue dumping rain on Texas through the weekend, with expected rainfall between 15 and 30 inches in many places. A few isolated spots could see up to 40 inches.

The National Hurricane Center is warning that flooding will be “catastrophic and life-threatening.”

Here’s what the area looks like.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall just before 10 p.m. Friday as a Category 4 hurricane.

Some areas of in the storms path are estimated to have gotten more than 15 inches of rain already, according to the National Weather Service.

Source: The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel reported that Harvey has pushed water 2 to 7 feet above average tide levels near Corpus Christi.

Rockport, Texas has been hit especially hard. Reports suggest many buildings, including a senior center, court house, and high school, have been badly damaged, and debris is strewn everywhere.

Rockport was under mandatory evacuation, but firefighters remained at the fire station, ABC reports. They had to wait to respond until weather conditions improved enough for them to travel.

Source: ABC News

On Friday, Rockport’s Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios suggested that people staying in the area “mark their arm with a Sharpie pen with their name and Social Security number” in case rescuers needed to identify them.

So far, one death has been confirmed in Rockport, according to ABC. Houston’s local ABC affiliate reported that 10 Rockport residents have been treated for injuries.

Sources: ABC News, ABC 13

On Saturday morning, the Coast Guard sent two helicopters to try to rescue the crews of three tugboats in distress, according to the AP. ABC reports 18 people were saved. The crews issued mayday calls from the Lydia Ann Channel near Port Aransas, Texas.

Source: Associated Press, ABC

Harvey is expected to stall over Texas for four days — which is why experts warn that dangerous floods and what could be record rainfall are still to come.

A storm surge warning is still in effect from Port Aransas to High Island, Texas — which means there is a “danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline,” according to the National Weather Service.

Because strong winds, flooding, and debris on roadways have kept emergency crews from reaching many areas, it will be a while until a full assessment of damage can be done.

Residents of Aransas Pass, Ingleside, Rockport, and others have been advised that it is not safe to return home right now.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times is reporting numerous road closures throughout the coastal area.

Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times

NOAA and the National Hurricane Center are also warning people not to attempt driving through even mildly flooded roadways. According to NOAA, 12 inches of fast-moving water can carry away a small car, and 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult.

The Corpus Christi Police Department reported on Twitter that numerous traffic lights are out, and many roads are full of debris and downed power lines.

According to the Associated Press, nearly 300,000 Texans are currently without power

The power outages are affecting the wastewater treatment plan in Corpus Christi, the Caller-Times reports, so the city has asked all residents to reduce their use of toilets and faucets and to boil water before drinking it.

President Donald Trump commended the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, for his handling of the hurricane in a tweet Saturday. “You are doing a great job – the world is watching! Be safe,” Trump said.

Source: Business Insider

Before the hurricane hit, many areas in Harvey’s path issued mandatory evacuation orders. Residents of nearby regions cleared out grocery store shelves in preparation for the storm.

The Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority began busing evacuees to San Antonio on Thursday. However, on Saturday morning it stopped all service until further notice.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told the New York Times that his government was preparing to assist up to 41,000 evacuees. The American Red Cross has opened pop-up shelters throughout San Antonio, and the San Antonio Current reported that 6,000 beds were ready there as of Friday morning.

Sources: New York Times, San Antonio Current, News 4 San Antonio

Some oil refineries in South Texas have shut down operations, which will likely cause the price of gasoline to spike.

The National Weather Service is warning Texas residents to think of Harvey’s intense rainfall as a marathon, not a sprint.


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